“Does this look like a dog or cat parasite?” asks Lee about the oddly-shaped, brown, worm-like creature pictured below. “I found it on my bedroom rug. It’s about a 1/4-inch long and is unaffected by touch or heat.” Now, we have to say right off the bat that we will not be able to confirm or deny if this is a cat or dog parasite. The reason for this is because whenever parasites are involved, or even suspected of being involved, the situation becomes medical in nature. Since we are not medical professionals, we are not qualified or legally able to identify parasites, given the health risks they pose. Doing so would be tantamount to providing a diagnosis, which only a medical professional, in this case a vet, would be qualified to do.
What we recommend is that Lee take her dog and/or cat to the vet to get them checked for parasites. Only a vet will be able to run comprehensive tests and give Lee a credible answer. If this does turn out to be a parasite, then the vet will naturally provide the proper care and treatment for the pet as well. If Lee is concerned that she too might have contracted the potential parasite, or that it is affecting her health, we suggest she consult a medical parasitologist: a physician specializing in diagnosing and treating parasite infections.
Now, if the vet decides that this is not a parasite, and Lee’s physician says the same, then we can get into what this worm is. Based on the photo, we think this looks like a slug. Perhaps her dog or cat brought it in from outside, or maybe it just came in through an open door. Either way, it can be unnerving to find unwanted guests in one’s home. In any case, we urge Lee to avoid making physical contact with the organism; even if it turns out that this is not a parasite, unknown organisms can cause allergic reactions like stinging and itching.
To conclude, we cannot say for certain what this creature is, given the nature of Lee’s question: we are not medical professionals and so we cannot identify parasites. If Lee gets confirmation that this is not a parasite from a medical professional, then we suppose it could be a slug. Until then, she should disregard that identification. We hope this helps, and we wish Lee, as well as any cats and dogs she may have, the very best.
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.